New York City Commission on Human Rights Survey Project and Report on Bias-Motivated Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence

Link to Survey

From The New York City Commission on Human Rights:

In 2016 there was a 46% rise in reporting of complaints to CCHR on basis of race, religion, national origins and citizenship status. This,combined with anecdotal reporting of a rise in hate and bias incidents against Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Sikh, and Jewish (MASAJS) communities, led the Commission to convened a series of listening sessions with advocacy organizations, service providers, and community leaders to learn about the experiences and needs of various communities in New York City. As a direct result of these discussions and in response to the lack of comprehensive data about the scope and frequency of bias-motivated harassment, discrimination, and violence across at-risk communities, the Commission launched a survey project initiative to collect data on bias incidents, harassment, and discrimination experienced by the MASAJS communities in the City.

The Commission partnered with Strength in Numbers Consulting Group (SiNCG), an M/WBE research and evaluation firm experienced in conducting rigorous community-based survey projects in partnership with marginalized communities, to consult with partner organizations on the development of a survey. In partnership with SiNCG and 20 advocacy organizations, direct service providers, and CBOs serving the MASAJS communities in the City, the Commission convened 15 focus groups with 118 community members about their recent experiences with and perceptions of bias harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes. The findings of these focus groups served as the basis for the development of a 5-10 minute survey, available electronically or on paper, to gather data from MASAJS community members on their experiences of bias harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes since July 2016.

The survey will launch on October 12th, remaining in the field until mid-November, and will be available in Arabic, Bengali, English, French, Hindi, Punjabi, Russian, Urdu, and Yiddish. The Commission is working with over two dozen community partners including CAIR NY on a comprehensive outreach and promotional strategy for the survey in an effort to yield a diverse and robust sample of the MASAJS communities in City. The Commission will publish a final report on survey findings to empower the Commission and other City agencies to better address and combat bias-motivated harassment, discrimination, and violence. The report and survey findings will also serve as an advocacy and fundraising tool for CBOs, advocacy organizations, and direct service providers.


Subway hate crime statistics to be sent to MTA

The MTA will now receive monthly updates on hate crimes reported in its facilities — a response to the citywide uptick in the crimes documented since the election of Donald Trump.

Hate crime stats will be packaged in the police department’s crime briefing, which currently includes data on incidents like murders, rapes and assaults that have occurred in the MTA’s subway and bus networks.

The briefing is presented to the New York City Transit and Bus Committee each month.

The addition comes upon request from MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer, as well as several board members, on Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill last week announced a 35-percent increase in hate crimes between the election, on Nov. 8, and Dec. 5, throughout the city. During that time there were 43 hate crimes documented. Some involved swastikas scrawled on sidewalks, park property and subway cars.

“If there is a material increase in those incidents, would it not be wise to report them as we do with every other?” Ferrer asked Vincent Coogan, assistant chief with the NYPD Transit Bureau, at Monday’s committee meeting.

Coogan said that his department can add reports on hate crimes to its briefings without much difficulty. The department already compiles the information internally.

“Yes, I’ll have that for you,” Coogan said. “We have a unit that’s dedicated just to investigate those crimes. … We take it very seriously. We always have.”

Board member Andrew Albert welcomed the inclusion of the stats. As did board memeber John Samuelsen, the president of TWU Local 100, the labor union representing MTA employees.

Last week, a Muslim MTA worker wearing her uniform and hajib was called a “terrorist” and pushed down a flight of stairs at Grand Central Terminal.

“There seems to have been an uptick,” said Albert. “And as much as we’re tracking other specific types of crimes, we should be tracking hate crimes.”